Whoa Fall!

It’s been a super weird couple of months, hasn’t it?

I look at people’s lives on Instagram or Facebook and sometimes it just seems so normal. Gathering materials for Christmas decor and making gifts, hosting an elaborate Thanksgiving meal with custom-made centerpieces, or planning & taking trips … it’s just so normal!

In meantime, I can’t find my iron. I’m troubleshooting getting local channels with the digital antenna LIKE I KNOW WHAT I’M DOING, and I still don’t know where to store excess linens in this house.

So let’s just look at these gorgeous flowers instead (because flowers can start the healing process for all sorts of wounds):

Did I mention that I started renovations on my kitchen too? Because one can never have too much going on. It’s fun living in a house with no cabinets & all the utensils are spilled across the dining room table for 7 days all at the same time your 15 year old son is starting driver’s ed & training and needs to be picked up and taken to school at odd times 3 days a week. That’s fun. Let’s do it again.

But, my goodness, look at those cabinets. Worth every stinkin’ penny.

We WILL do the chaos again as soon as I’m ready to replace the countertop. Soon. Ish.

But, hey, I decorated my living room!

And Nigel the Australian handyman is the bomb dot com. (My son tells me I’m aging myself when I say that. I told him to make like a tree and get out of here). Nigel calls me “mate.”

But, hey, I got new lipstick so WINNING. I got a new book too. Thank goodness for books. And lipstick that makes a woman feel like a million bucks. Or at least half that.

But there’s this. Both above & below. Being realistic means never finding the love again I thought I had. Being a romantic means never losing that hope.

So, also, see below, there’s a couple things in one of my boobs being watched. Every 6 months for 2 years, I think. Have I mentioned my sister died of cancer a little over two years ago and that cancer originated as breast cancer??? But she’s not blood so I wouldn’t share that through family blood with her, but I don’t want to share it through experience either. So far, so good. Knock on wood.

The pic below was just following a boob ultrasound. (Plus new lipstick. A MUST when dealing with this adult shit).

The above pic is of a new little enclave of friends that I’ve been sucked into, willingly, and surprisingly! The dude on the right is a chef. He’s also become an incredible friend. The woman between us is his life partner. The bottle is an awesome brainchild! A new flavored whiskey. I helped bottle the first batch! I touched every single bottle that day and it was an incredible experience.

See above? Fancy hair. That’s really the only remarkable thing about that night.

I spoke recently for law enforcement in the LA area. They gave me this. Experiences like this are fantastic and I think, sometimes, how is this my life?

My boys are … unusually & exceedingly peculiar and quite impossible to describe! And beautiful, loving, sweet, and they keep growing. I never sanctioned that.

But, honestly, how did I get this lucky?

This last one, this little meme, is not for me but for you. You, my friend, my estranged (and sometimes strange) friend, plus all of you who I don’t know, I am praying for your happiness. Your peace. I want nothing more than for you to have peace in your heart, and I want that for myself too.

I pray for your happiness, for your peace, and for your joy, like I pray for my own.



I have something to say and you may not like it

A couple years ago I went to the gynecologist for the first time in 5 years. There were two reasons (TMI alert!):

  1. My periods had become heavier, longer, and I sometimes had debilitating cramps that radiated throughout my mid-section and caused digestion distress as well;
  2. I wanted to get cancer screened.

My doctor recommended putting me on birth control pills (BCP). Hmmm. I hadn’t taken those in 10-11 years, but if it helped I figured I’d try it out.

Tangent: calling them birth control pills is a bit of a misnomer because they actually help with so many other medical issues. Maybe if we called them them something like “hormone therapy,” regardless of the reproductive side effect, then we wouldn’t be in the situation we are in today.

Can I just tell you what a Godsend those pills have been? No cramps. None. Lighter periods. No IBS-type of distress at the same time as having a heavy flow and awful mid-section pain. I can’t tell you how much those pills improved my quality of life one week a month. (That’s huge! 25% of my time?? Incredible!)

The added bonus was improving my skin significantly. I used to get a cystic pimple every month around my cycle. I haven’t had a single one since I started the pill. Lifesaver!!

From a pharmacy perspective, I pick up 5 prescriptions a month for my kiddos. My pharmacist’s assistant knows me, my name, my kids’ names and even has a nickname for me. Prescriptions are a budgeted expense at my house. Imagine my surprise when I picked up my first month of pills and the ‘script was FREE!! Free, free, free. The only ‘script I’ve ever gotten for free. Thank goodness for insurance.

(Of course, it’s not really free – a buttload of cashola comes out of my paycheck every month for my insurance premiums, and I’m fully cognizant of that offset).

But you know what’s weird? I felt guilty. Because I could pay for them. I could cover that co-pay … but I know there are a lot of women out there who can’t afford it – either because they don’t have insurance or their insurance doesn’t cover BCP. I felt guilty.

When Obamacare went through I was so pleased to know that other women will have the ability to get on the pill regardless of finances – whether for medical reasons or birth control. It felt like the right to control & fix our bodies was in our hands again, something to be discussed with our doctors rather than bureaucrats. Every woman should have access to the relief I felt from taking those pills. Every woman should also be able to prevent pregnancy through whichever type of birth control they and their doctor agree is best for their bodies.

Every person, man or woman, should be deeply disturbed by the SCOTUS ruling allowing employers to pick & choose their medical coverage due to their religious leanings. Everyone. If we opt-in for insurance – through private pay or working for an employer who offers health benefits – then we should be able to have the medical coverage we need. Period. Regardless of your opinion, or yours, or yours, or yours.

I need allergy medicine so I can breathe, I need prescription eyeglasses (and sunglasses) so I can see, I need prescription cream so my Herpes Simplex 1 sores go away more quickly (cold sores, if you didn’t know), and I need hormone therapy (BCP) for my menstruation. These are my medical needs. Why would medical insurance only cover 3 out of 4 of my medical needs?

I’m so sorry that we, as a country, cannot pull our heads out of our asses long enough to figure out when we do or do not want big government dictating our lives. It seems that both the left & right use big government to suit their needs – regulating guns, abortions, birth control, marriage, etc – but then other times we get on our lofty high-horse and eschew big government in favor of self-autonomy. At some point we need to agree when and where big government is relevant and where it’s not. Hint: it’s not welcome in my vagina!

Bye bye Hobby Lobby.  I have to do my small part to protest your hypocrisy. If you’re willing to let your employees suffer over your claimed beliefs then I’m willing to stop buying your made in China (a country who sanctions, nay, dictates, abortions) crafty, knick-knacky crap.

I am just livid.



Long ago, in a galaxy far, far away, before I had kids,  I enjoyed crafting. The process of deciding on a project, getting the supplies and then putting it all together for a purpose. So fun. I loved thinking, “wow, look what I made with my own two hands.” Then I got married, had kids, and time for crafting was non-existent. Such is life.

Before I moved to Idaho and and before I met my husband, I had a teeny, tiny adorable apartment in my hometown in California. The building was a house in an old, beautiful section of town that had been renovated to hold three apartments. I loved it. It had a laundry room in the apartment but I didn’t have a washer & dryer so I instead put all my craft supplies there. I had a dresser (that I had painted and stamped all over) that kept my stuff: one drawer for my paints, another for my stamps & brushes, etc. I didn’t crochet, knit or sew, and I still don’t, but I would love to learn! Paint was my preferred tool then, but I have developed a deep love & admiration for my glue gun since that time.

But then I sold most of my stuff and moved to Idaho and my crafting fell by the wayside.  I did some things over the next few years – I made my bridal veil, I decorated Christmas trays one year when we were broke & barely getting by, and occasionally I would paint a yard sale find, but no big projects.

Then, flash forward about 7 years after my youngest was born, and I couldn’t remember what a personal hobby was much less recognize what *I* wanted to do. The kids had gotten older, a little more independent, and they didn’t need mom every second of every waking hour. It was in this time that I realized I had forgotten some of the integral parts that made me who I am, or who I was, before I became a mom-monster. Something had to be done.

So, first, I started reading blogs. That’s how I found my friend, Joni, who I am constantly in awe of for her incredible crafty talents (forgive her lack of new posts – she’s a mom of wee ones again, but she does post a lot of crafts on Instagram). She had a lot to do with pushing me towards being crafty again (whether she knows it or not).

This was my progression:

  • I liked writing so I thought I would give that a try (and here you are – still working on that one).
  • Then I played around with jewelry. I like simple beading but don’t have the patience to make the really intricate stuff.
  • Then I started playing with felt. So pretty, so versatile. I’m still crushing on it big time.

I jumped into felt in a huge way and decided I was going to do almost an entirely handmade Christmas this year. Every moment thereafter was about making ALL THE THINGS I could with felt. I’m not an expert by any means, but I got better the more I played with it and I just loved the process if creating something for someone in particular. I customized according to what I thought fit them, their style and their personalities best.

Here, in no particular order, are some of the things I have made in the last 2 months. There were quite a lot I didn’t get pictures of in my rush to finish and mail packages. Others I photographed and later embellished and mailed without re-snapping a pic. But I think you’ll get the idea.

For my niece and her first solo apartment (this one is still my husband’s favorite)
This ended up going to one of my sons’ teachers. My son loved it and chose it for her. I really just wanted to make something with a rainbow.
For my in-laws. Love.
For my mom & stepdad. It looks a little lopsided in the pic because of the way I had the wreath turned, but I think in real life it’s straight. I hope. Eek.
Ornaments! This one was for my niece and I made one, with their initials, for her, her husband and three kids, and my nephew, his wife, and daughter. I hope they liked them! I meant to write my name and the date though and totally forgot before I mailed them.
For my dad & stepmom. My stepmom really likes gold, silver and pretty, shiny things so I tailored this for her specifically.
For my brother & sister-in-law. Simple and beautiful.
BOISE STATE BRONCOS!! I had an idea to make a wreath with BSU colors and I loved it. I had a choice of BSU fans to give it to and I choose my boss and his wife. I’m told she’s putting it in her classroom. 🙂
For my sister-in-law, Susan. Susan is going through cancer treatment right now and I thought this tote bag would be great for her trips to the hospital. Her favorite color is purple, and her next round of chemo starts on Monday. (Pray for her, please).
This was for my Grammy. I actually embellished it quite a lot after this pic was taken. I add more roses to the sides to balance it more and a few more shiny little “ornament” balls. I adore my Grammy.
Hey, that’s me! And one of the first pins I made. I think i gave that one to my mom – but I honestly don’t remember!
My niece. Isn’t she adorable? She was totally cool with wearing this hat too. She’s the daughter of my sister-in-law with cancer. Love you, little girl baby.

Pins, wreaths, ornaments, hair accessories – I loved making it all. I’m having so much fun doing this that I think I’m going to continue past Christmas and make MORE THINGS. I’m carving out a crafting corner in my house as a permanent residence for this on-going project and I couldn’t be more excited. The boys even had the idea to get me craft supplies for Christmas because they are enjoying the things I’m making as well.

The process of making and giving these presents was so rewarding for me. It helped me to recognize my talents – other than working & mothering – and that I can be creative in this realm too. Special thanks has to go to Pinterest, though, for all the wonderful design ideas. I can’t wait to play around and create new designs! And if you normally get gifts from me you can pretty much assume, going forward, they will be along these lines so I hope you like them. 😉

Happy crafting!